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NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JULY 2002

   
Feature - The terror has returned to Guatemala
The Pope has the extraordinary knack - whether by accident or design - of arriving in Guatemala at critical moments in the country's history. His first visit in March 1983 coincided with the height of the civil war, his second months before the peace treaty. Now Guatemala seems poised on the brink of returning to its grim past. - James Painter, head Latin American section, BBC World Service
31 Jul 2002

Opinion - Generation X leads the bright future of orthodoxy in US
The grassroots movement towards orthodoxy bears watching because it has thrived in the most unlikely places, captured the hearts of the most unlikely people, and aims to effect the most unlikely of outcomes—a revitalisation of American Christianity and culture. - author Colleen Carroll ("The New Faithful: Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy")
31 Jul 2002

Catholic publisher releases Deane speeches
St Paul's Publications has released a book of extracts from 70 key speeches made by Sir William Deane during his 1996-2001 term as Australia's Governor-General.
31 Jul 2002

Queensland BoysTown recruits senior business executive
BoysTown's appointment of CEO Chris Stoltz late last year to replace the last De La Salle Brother head of the charity has caused debate over the merits of hiring high-salaried professionals to head welfare organisations.
31 Jul 2002

Crean calls for clarification of Pell remarks
Federal Opposition Leader Simon Crean has called for the Church to clarify comments by Sydney Archbishop George Pell that abortion was a worse scandal than sexual abuse by priests.
31 Jul 2002

Maternity leave focus may cloud other issues
The focus on paid maternity leave may lead to other issues of work and family being overlooked or forgotten, according to the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER).
31 Jul 2002

Cardinal says religious freedom in Mexico still limited
On the eve of John Paul II's visit to Mexico, the archbishop primate of the country said that religious liberty is still limited in his nation.
31 Jul 2002

Pope canonises first Guatemalan saint
Pope John Paul II has canonised Guatemala's first saint in a ceremony attended by hundreds of thousands of Catholics from across Central America.
31 Jul 2002

Feature - Experts ponder papal succession
As Pope John Paul II continues his 11-day tour of the Americas to Guatemala and Mexico this week, some Vatican observers suggest that his third trip to the region in less than a decade is one indication the next pope may be drawn from that part of the world. Latin America is home to half the world's Catholics and several strong papal candidates, including cardinals from Colombia, Brazil, Honduras, and Cuba.
30 Jul 2002

Opinion - Pope has weathered critics in US
The "progressives" will not forgive John Paul II because what they call sexual liberation the pope, in a quite well-founded, traditional way, regards as the tyranny of the libido, a form of slavery. Whereas they want eagerly to accept the norms of secular society on divorce, homosexual acts, premarital sex, and other pelvic desires, the pope stands with the voice of the faithful of the past, so many martyrs, so many lovers of chastity. - Michael Novak, American Enterprise Institute
30 Jul 2002

Church sued over school-ground injury
A Sydney woman is suing the Catholic Church after falling into a grass-covered hole and tearing an ankle ligament, saying she can no longer work as a flight attendant.
30 Jul 2002

China sentences three priests to labour camp
China has sentenced three priests to three years in a labour camp for "cult" activities it says threaten social stability, according to the US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation.
30 Jul 2002

Pope grieves over Ukraine, India disasters
Pope John Paul has sent his condolences to the families of the dozens of victims of Ukraine's worst air show disaster and the capsising of a passenger boat in India over the weekend.
30 Jul 2002

Call for church panel to investigate sexual abuse
The Catholic Church must establish an independent lay panel to look into allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct by clergy, if comments attributed to Sydney's Catholic Archbishop, Dr George Pell, are representative of the church's attitude, a former NSW Commissioner for Equal Opportunity said yesterday.
30 Jul 2002

Guatemala halts death penalty at Pope's request
On the eve of John Paul II's visit, Guatemala's president slapped a moratorium on the death penalty for the remaining months of his term, in response to a papal request.
30 Jul 2002

Pope leaves Canada following World Youth Day success
The Pope said goodbye to Toronto yesterday on the tarmac of an airport crowded with well-wishers. But at least some of his 206,000 World Youth Day pilgrims have decided to delay their departures, with 23 young Cubans are now declaring their desire to defect to Canada, the Cuban Catholic Bishops announced at a conference.
30 Jul 2002

Feature - Day in the life of John Paul
This week in Toronto, the most recognised man in the world has been nearly unrecognisable. The 82-year-old Pontiff, who suffers with Parkinson's disease and arthritis, had been frail and weak in the weeks leading up to this trip for the World Youth Day festival. Yet to everyone's surprise, the most travelled Pope in history has been robust and animated in his appearances, to the delight of more than 200,000 pilgrims registered.
29 Jul 2002

Opinion - Catholic youth celebrate faith
WYD presents again the paradox of current Catholicism. On the one hand, vast crowds of young people cheered enthusiastically for the pope. On the other hand, 80% favour married priests and women priests, 75% advocate sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics, and 65% want artificial birth control approved. The young people in their cheers for the pope are cheering for their church, their faith and themselves. Like their parents, they remain steadfastly Catholic, though in overwhelming numbers they reserve the right of making their own decisions on matters of sex and gender. - Fr Andrew Greeley
29 Jul 2002

Church takes blame for Argentinian crisis
An Argentinian archbishop has admitted that his Church's failure to preach moral values has contributed to the country's worsening social and economic crisis.
29 Jul 2002

Survey finds growing spirituality in European youth
A study has concluded that spirituality has grown among young Christians in Europe over the last 20 years, even as church attendance is declining.
29 Jul 2002

L'Arche founder Jean Vanier urges youth to "learn from the weak"
The founder of L'Arche Communities for the disabled urged World Youth Day participants to listen to "the teachings of the weak" in a society where there's an increasing thirst for power and wealth.
29 Jul 2002

Involvement in politics can help the poor, archbishop tells youth
Involvement in politics can help the poor, a Canadian archbishop told pilgrims at World Youth Day.
29 Jul 2002

Pell calls abortion a greater crime than sex abuse
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell told pilgrims at World Youth Day in Toronto "abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people".
29 Jul 2002

Pope tells huge crowd to support Church
Pope John Paul, ending World Youth Day celebrations, on Sunday urged a drenched but ecstatic crowd of 800,000 to stand by their church and not be discouraged by the priestly sex scandal that has rocked their faith.
29 Jul 2002

Feature - Australian priest crosses America with 'holy kids'
An Australian Catholic priest has led a group of pro-life young people, many of them Americans, to Toronto, where the church's World Youth Day celebrations are taking place this week. They have spent the summer crossing the U.S. to spread a pro-life message. Fr Hilary Flynn is taking part in the Crossroads-organised event in response to Pope John Paul II's challenge at the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, when he urged young people not to be afraid to "go out on the streets and into public places" to show the world "the path to life."
26 Jul 2002

Opinion - Revisionists say Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute
Some historians are making the case that Mary Magdalene was framed and defamed, pointing out that there is no scriptural evidence that she was a prostitute. They say the Gnostic "Gospel of Mary", supposedly written by Mary Magdalene and discovered in Egypt half a century ago, portrays her as a rival to Peter, as a female apostle who stayed faithful at the end, unlike some of the skittish males. The revisionists argue that, wittingly or unwittingly, the men who run Christianity obliterated Mary Magdalene's role as an influential apostle and reduced her to a metaphor for sexual guilt.
26 Jul 2002

Belfast priest says forgiveness is only way forward
On Tuesday, a local priest told thousands of people held a vigil for a Catholic man shot dead by a loyalist paramilitary group in north Belfast that they should forgive rather than blame those responsible for the crime.
26 Jul 2002

German cardinal dies unexpectedly
76 year old Cardinal Johannes Joachim Degenhardt, archbishop of Paderborn, died yesterday of heart failure, a spokesman for the archdiocese said.
26 Jul 2002

Parramatta Diocese priest appointed to arts body board
The parish priest of Blacktown in Sydney, Fr Arthur Bridge, has been appointed to the Board of the Music Fund of the Australia Council, the Federal Government's peak funding body for the arts.
26 Jul 2002

Vinnies urges more than band-aid for homeless kids
Building more homeless shelters is simply putting a band-aid on a massive social problem, St Vincent de Paul Society's Queensland president Tim O'Connor said.
26 Jul 2002

US lay Catholics join abuse review
The Catholic Bishops of the United States announced on Wednesday the appointment of a sexual abuse review board that is made up entirely of active Catholic lay people, but no one from the victims' advocacy groups that have been most critical of the church.
26 Jul 2002

Young Catholics eager to greet Pope at World Youth Day
More than 200,000 singing, dancing and chanting young Catholics went into religious high gear on Thursday as they awaited Pope John Paul's arrival in Toronto at the World Youth Day festival.
26 Jul 2002

Feature - Juan Diego-mania takes over Mexico as canonisation ceremony nears
A rising tide of enthusiasm in Mexico City has accompanied the countdown to the canonisation of Blessed Juan Diego, whose 16th-century visions of Mary are at the heart of Mexican Catholicism. Tomas Sanchez, a 70-year-old cook, decided to make a special trip to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in northern Mexico City before the big event to ask Juan Diego's help with his health. "I asked him to intervene in my favor before the Virgin and before God," said Sanchez, pointing to his leg swollen with varicose veins. "I would be very grateful."
25 Jul 2002

Opinion - Me, The Muppets and my vocation
Pope John Paul II recently wrote a very moving Letter to Artists in which he reminded them of the incredible power of art to reach the divine and, ultimately, "lift us up". Through the creative processes of the artist a level of transcendence is achieved that connects directly to the power of the ultimate Creator. Through this we can be moved through art, can find solace, inspiration, even answers. - Australian Film TV & Radio school graduate Claire McCarthy
25 Jul 2002

Seven women excommunicated as deadline passes
Seven women who took part in Austria in a simulated priestly ordination on 29 June were officially excommunicated at midnight on Monday.
25 Jul 2002

Ex-Christian Brothers leader sent for trial
A Christian Brother and former principal of one of the Brothers' Brisbane schools has been ordered to stand trial on 13 child-sex offences.
25 Jul 2002

Vatican newspaper says latest Israeli raid imperils possible peace
The bitterness and hatred sown by the killing of civilians, especially children, will be much harder to overcome than the clashing territorial claims of Israelis and Palestinians, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has said.
25 Jul 2002

Pope congratulates new Anglican leader
Expressing hope for closer relations between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, Pope John Paul II yesterday sent his congratulations to the Archbishop-elect of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams.
25 Jul 2002

Pigeons fly from Rome to Poland to celebrate pope's reign
Exactly four hours after Pope John Paul II's flight took off for Toronto on Tuesday, a special flock began its flight from St. Peter's Square to Poland, the pope's homeland and the site of the next papal trip.
25 Jul 2002

Pope arrives in Toronto, praises intelligence, hearts of young people
Arriving in Toronto for World Youth Day celebrations, Pope John Paul II said the mega-gathering would help young people find spiritual direction in a world full of social and ethical tensions.
25 Jul 2002

Feature - Willesee looks at Eucharist miracles and Last Supper in documentary
Producing a documentary on the Eucharist was "not a money-making venture", says Mike Willesee. The Eucharist, produced by the former high-profile current affairs presenter, now documentary producer. "The documentary is an educational and evangelistic instrument to remind people of this important sacrament, the most assessable sacrament, the one Jesus says brings us close to him," Mike says.
24 Jul 2002

Opinion - Remaining Adolescent
You can stay adolescent in your psychosexual development so that you do not deal maturely with authority figures, you do not deal maturely with people of the opposite sex or even necessarily the same sex. It is regrettable because it is hard to be a very effective priest [even though] you can still live a busy, active life. A person who spends hours and hours and hours at the Internet looking at pornographic pictures .. acts in an unhealthy way in so far as he is using his imagination to abuse in his fantasy children may go on to actualise it and go out beyond fantasising and abuse. - psychiatrist Fr James J. Gill SJ, in To Educate and to Form: Assisting Personal Growth and Development (Spectrum Publications 2002)/Humanita Foundation
24 Jul 2002

EU parliamentarians mount attack on Holy See
Radical elements of the European Parliament have sponsored resolutions attacking the Catholic Church's moral authority on abortion and demanding that all church influence on temporal matters be brought to an end.
24 Jul 2002

Pope sends message to Saddam
In a message addressed to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, John Paul II said he prays for peace in that country and in the region.
24 Jul 2002

Rome refuses to bless English liturgy texts
The Vatican has rejected two major new English liturgy translations submitted by the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL), including revised translations of the Roman Missal and the Rite of Ordination.
24 Jul 2002

Canadian bishops urge government to appeal same-sex marriage ruling
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging the country's federal government to appeal the decision of the Ontario Divisional Court allowing same-sex marriages.
24 Jul 2002

Boston Archdiocese blocks funds from reform group
Donations from a Catholic reform group whose new fund is intended to let Catholics give directly to church charities will not be accepted by the Archdiocese of Boston, diocesan officials say.
24 Jul 2002

Ailing Pope arrives in Canada
An ailing Pope John Paul II has arrived in Canada to begin his 97th overseas trip, slowly descending the stairs from his plane at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
24 Jul 2002

Feature - Afghanistan security concerns complicate development
Like many humanitarian aid agencies in Afghanistan, Catholic Relief Services (the US Caritas affiliate) is moving away from emergency relief to projects that promote rebuilding civil society. These days, aid workers in Kabul talk about "capacity building" rather than distributing tents or blankets. While the shift in focus reflects an expectation of political stability, security concerns remain a complicating factor for those trying to alleviate human suffering.
23 Jul 2002

Opinion - Bush, Cheney and corporate greed
Last week, we saw a speech by the president on Wall Street send the stock market tumbling again. The fundamental flaw of a capitalist economy is greed, which leads to corruption. Greed is the necessary risk of economic growth. The difficulty in this situation is that both the president and the vice president made their fortunes in such a corporate environment, indeed, in the quick-money world of oil millionaires, a world in which they were obviously insiders. - Fr Andrew Greeley
23 Jul 2002

China detains nun in raid
Authorities in southeastern China have detained a nun who was teaching a summer vacation religion class for children, the US-based Cardinal King Foundation says.
23 Jul 2002

Pakistan bishop urges repeal of death sentence for blasphemy
The Catholic Bishop of Pakistan has called for the repeal of the death sentence for blasphemy, after a Christian man was sentenced to hang for claiming to be Jesus Christ.
23 Jul 2002

Papal honour for Adelaide human rights advocate
Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday announced South Australian Papal Honours for Jan Ruff-O'Herne, counsellor Cathy Black and three priests of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
23 Jul 2002

US religious orders consider retaining abusive priests
Leaders of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the United States, which will meet next month, say the orders are unlikely to take the same approach as the nation's bishops.
23 Jul 2002

Thousands arrive in Toronto for World Youth Day
The cross has arrived in Toronto for World Youth Day, and so have thousands of young Roman Catholic pilgrims, waiting for miracles and Pope John Paul II.
23 Jul 2002

Josephites hit out at detention of children
A detention centre is no place to nurture a child, according to a statement released yesterday by the Sisters of St Joseph, who point out that they have cared for children in need in Australia and beyond, for 136 years.
23 Jul 2002

Feature - How Fatima changed the world
It is 73 years ago this month that Our Lady appeared to Sr Lucia to reveal to her how the communist menace threatening the world could be brought to an end. This was 12 years after Our Lady had first appeared at Fatima to the three shepherd children, Lucia and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco. It was during Our Lady's third apparition at Cova da Iria on July 13, 1917 that she had told them: 'I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
22 Jul 2002

Opinion - Watchdogs needed to restore faith in bishops
US Catholics, wanting to hold their bishops accountable and not trusting they can do it themselves, support the formation of local and national lay oversight review boards. But can lay boards responsible to and funded by the bishops really act as truly independent monitors? Can such boards do their work free from external pressure, especially from the very men who have appointed them? And what force will any of their statements or recommendations have?
22 Jul 2002

Jesuit magazine gives Spider-Man thumbs up
Despite its "militaristic patriotism" and exaltation of all things American, the film Spider-Man offers moral lessons that more and more people are finding only in the movies today, said an influential Jesuit magazine.
22 Jul 2002

Indian nun gets six months in jail for failing to report conversions
A court in central India jailed a 56-year-old nun last week for violating a law on conversion, which a church official said is the first such case in Indian history.
22 Jul 2002

Pope exhorts young not to have fear
Shortly before heading to a Catholic youth celebration in Canada, Pope John Paul II urged young people Sunday not to be afraid in a world shaken by the 11 September terror attacks and conflict in the Middle East.
22 Jul 2002

Toronto organisers report weak registration for World Youth Day
Ahead of Pope John Paul II's arrival tomorrow for World Youth Day festivities, organisers say the number of people registered to attend is well below initial projections and figures from previous years.
22 Jul 2002

Reform group seeks changes in US Church
At its first national meeting on Saturday, a US lay reform group born out of the clergy sex abuse scandal, called for drastic changes in the way the church is governed.
22 Jul 2002

Nun admits role in Afghani children's consulate bid
The Brigidine Sisters late Friday finally broke a vow of silence about the Bakhtiyari brothers' last hours of freedom on the streets of Melbourne.
22 Jul 2002

Feature - A legacy as faceted as the man himself
In a few days, he will back in Canada, 82, ailing, debilitated and — after almost a quarter-century in the papacy — the controversial head of a troubled church. Beyond question, John Paul II is one of the singular figures of the 20th century. Even critics concede to him, as does author John Cornwell in his recent book Breaking Faith, "an unassailable integrity, a single-minded dedication to duty and evident holiness of life." But, as do many others, Cornwell considers John Paul II to be leaving the Catholic church "in a worse state than he found it".
19 Jul 2002

Opinion - US rejection of court defies law, logic and morality
On 1 July, the Rome Statute establishing the first International Criminal Court in human history went into force. To the chagrin of the whole world, President Bush announced that the United States would refuse to join and that, in addition, America would pull out of the United Nations peacekeeping operations unless all U.S. personnel involved received immunity from the court. The demand of the United States for immunity from the court elevates and aggravates the Pentagon's tendency to defy world opinion and think only of its own subjective prepossessions. America, as never before, looks like the Lone Ranger following its own self-centered wishes in disregard of the counsel of former allies and friends. - Robert F. Drinan SJ
19 Jul 2002

Bethlehem nuns suffering under a little-noticed siege
A group of women religious is living through a siege similar to the one that occurred at the Basilica of the Nativity, but this time around there has been little media attention.
19 Jul 2002

Visiting British editor talks of Church's bitter pill
The Catholic church has experienced "very difficult years" under the reign of Pope John Paul II, the editor of the international Catholic newspaper The Tablet said after his arrival in Melbourne.
19 Jul 2002

Problem gamblers stretch Vinnies counselling resources
The St Vincent de Paul Society in NSW is appealing for help before new legislation comes in to force that will pleace increased demands on its counselling service for compulsive gamblers.
19 Jul 2002

South African bishop resigns
Bishop Reginald Cawcutt has resigned as Cape Town's auxiliary bishop after reports that he had been implicated in a gay website scandal.
19 Jul 2002

Catholic order head says abuse allegations 'traumatising'
The Australasian head of a Catholic order accused of sexually abusing boys at a New Zealand boarding school yesterday described himself as "traumatised" by the allegations.
19 Jul 2002

Caritas says international court 'crucial' for East Timor
Establishment of an international criminal tribunal in East Timor is necessary for justice and reconciliation, says Caritas Australia.
19 Jul 2002

Feature - The orphans who stand at God's Window
As soon as he begins to talk about his mother Manuel's face crumples and he dissolves in tears. In the hut where Manuel's mother died there is a low wooden bed and blankets, a pile of worn-out clothes, a sack of corn meal and an oil lamp. The full horror of Aids is only now beginning to strike Africa. Infection rates may be levelling off but the dying has only just begun.
18 Jul 2002

Opinion - Why I don't imitate Christ
The publication of What Would Jesus Eat? (Nelson, 2002) signals, I hope, the end of our latest enchantment with imitating Christ. Unseemly things happen when the culture gets a hankering to be like Jesus. The often excitable medieval imagination led tp tens of thousands of flagellants were roaming Europe, whipping themselves bloody so they could suffer like Jesus. Ironically, the timeless book that embodies this idea in its title, The Imitation of Christ, rarely invites the reader to live or be like Jesus. It says all Jesus says is "Follow me."
18 Jul 2002

Theology 'becoming lay activity'
The clergy is losing its monopoly on the teaching and study of theology, according to Australian Catholic Theological Association (ACTA) president Dr Neil Ormerod.
18 Jul 2002

Schools fight to keep up with demand
Some schools on the outer edges of Sydney are finding it impossible to keep up with the demand by Catholic families for places in their schools.
18 Jul 2002

Nun murdered at shelter home in Colombia
In the latest round of violence against Church figures, a 44-year-old nun was gunned down after two masked assailants barged into the Marcelino Shelter of Mothers Institute, which houses 50 elderly people and 45 young women.
18 Jul 2002

German Cardinal calls on political party to drop 'Christian' from its name
After the German political party, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) put forward policies in favour of special rights for homosexuals, Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne asked the party to stop using the name 'Christian'.
18 Jul 2002

Burial scam hits grieving families
The scandal at involving the selling of burial vaults two and three times to different buyers at Brisbane's Nudgee Cemetery will cost Brisbane's Catholic archdiocese up to $300,000 to rectify.
18 Jul 2002

Concern over jobless figures
The rise in unemployment to 6.5%, although relatively small, is 'a worrying shift in the wrong direction', says Catholic Welfare Australia (CWA) national director Toby O'Connor.
18 Jul 2002

Feature - Old seminary to house new ACU campus
The Australian Catholic University is on track to open its new Brisbane campus next year at Banyo on the site of the former Pius XII provincial seminary. Visitors had a glimpse of the new campus last week at a foundation ceremony and blessing of the picturesque 40ha site on Brisbane's north side.
17 Jul 2002

Opinion - Politics keeps food off the table in poor countries
Pope John Paul II says the world has a duty to guarantee the right to nutrition for everyone, an enormous challenge "to which the Church, too, is fully committed". However, the US delegation at last month's World Food Summit in Rome opposed the concept of a global right to food and the final communique could not reach agreement on the notion. Millions of lives are at risk, but world hunger is rarely examined in our media, despite the efforts of our schools, Caritas and other development and aid agencies. - Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, co-ordinator of program in social justice studies at Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne
17 Jul 2002

Attending religious services may help heart
Diabetics who attend religious services at least once a year had lower levels of a marker of inflammation linked to heart disease than those who never attended religious services, a new US study has found.
17 Jul 2002

Spanish bishop says immigrants must respect religion of adopted country
Immigration is a human phenomenon that calls for Christian acceptance, but those who are welcomed must respect the majority religion of their new country, a Spanish bishop says.
17 Jul 2002

Papal courtyard appearance surprises pilgrims
Slightly tanned and walking with his cane, Pope John Paul II joined visitors in the courtyard of the Castel Gandolfo papal summer villa for last Sunday's recitation of the Angelus prayer.
17 Jul 2002

Mexican bishops hope papal visit leads to new rights for indigenous
Mexico's bishops said Pope John Paul II's upcoming canonisation and beatification of three indigenous Mexicans signalled an important recognition of indigenous peoples that the country must translate into legal recognition of rights.
17 Jul 2002

Retired Qld priest appears in court on 35 child sex charges
A 66-year-old retired Queensland priest has appeared in the Brisbane magistrates court on 35 child sex charges.
17 Jul 2002

Canada rejects visas for thousands of World Youth Day hopefuls
Thousands of young people from Third World countries will not be able to participate in World Youth Day because wary Canadian authorities have denied them visas.
17 Jul 2002

Feature - Liturgy of the Hours: It's not just for clergy anymore
For the past 16 months, Pope John Paul II has been encouraging people to pray with the Psalms, and particularly to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. The papal audience talks reflect a growing reality: Priests and religious are not the only ones using the breviary for morning and evening prayer. What's more, convents and monasteries are not the only places where lay people can experience the chanting or recitation of the prayers communally, the way they were designed to be prayed.
16 Jul 2002

Opinion - Election in PNG an orchestrated mess
Stories of the election shambles continue. It has now reached the stage where we begin to feel somehow disloyal when we talk about it. If we talk about the issues we create an unfavourable impression of the country, drive investors further away and drive the value of the Kina further down. If we do not talk, compare notes, and ask questions we seem to be surrendering our right to be heard, and delivering this right to those who seem intent on robbing us of our rights. - from an open email written by a PNG Bishops Conference official
16 Jul 2002

Dissident Catholics plan own Youth Day
The group called Challenge the Church has organised a five-day program to run concurrently with the World Youth Day festivities in Toronto later this month.
16 Jul 2002

Mexico denounces sale of Pope tickets
The Catholic Church in Mexico has denounced the sale of bogus tickets for events during Pope John Paul II's visit at the end of the month.
16 Jul 2002

Nuns defy hindu militants' threat at Indian school
A Catholic School run by Ursuline nuns in south India has decided to defy threats by Hindu groups to drop the Lord's Prayer from the school assembly.
16 Jul 2002

Miracles set eight on path to beatification
The Vatican has recognised the miracles needed to beatify eight people, including four Poles the Pope might beatify in his homeland next month.
16 Jul 2002

Philippines Bishops back beseiged President
The influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has endorsed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, under the attack from former allies, saying her policies are the best option for the country.
16 Jul 2002

Lawyer urges transparency in sex abuse response
A prominent Sydney Catholic lawyer has written a second time to Australia's Catholic bishops and heads of religious congregations urging more lay involvement and transparency in the Church's response to the sex abuse crisis.
16 Jul 2002

Feature - Life among the street children of Mongolia
Laraine and I attended Mass on Palm Sunday at St Peter and Paul Church, Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, along with about 100 parishioners and visitors. A particular highlight for us was the dramatisation of the gospel by 20 girls and boys from programs for needy children conducted by the priests, brothers and nuns in Ulaanbaatar. - Canberra-based aid and development consultant Tony Culnane
15 Jul 2002

Opinion - Justice: what it means to me
I believe in protecting life from the moment of conception until natural death. I also believe that we can't stop with life issues. Giving due good to young people includes giving us the chance to live our lives for God. I believe the Catholic idea of justice can change the world. - Lucy Gresser, president of the Sydney University Society of St Peter
15 Jul 2002

Former nun gives account of priest's sexual abuse
A former nun plans to claim compensation from the Archdiocese of Melbourne for a priest's alleged sexual abuse. The woman says Fr James Barry Whelan kissed, fondled and partially stripped her of her habit.
15 Jul 2002

'South Park' episode upsets Catholic civil rights group
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the US is upset by a "South Park" episode poking fun at the sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church and has issued a statement about its displeasure.
15 Jul 2002

Vatican says population control should recognise parents' rights
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva, has expressed the Holy Sees preference for neither unlimited growth in world population nor the imposition of policies that attack the right of parents to freely decide how many children they will have.
15 Jul 2002

British religious leaders opposed to invasion of Iraq
A group of Christian theologians and activists in the UK, in collaboration with the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, has issued an ecumenical declaring a war against Iraq "immoral" and "illegal".
15 Jul 2002

Catholic relief organisation sounds alarm on Sudan
About 1.7 million Sudanese are at risk of famine and disease as humanitarian access is denied to aid agencies in southern Sudan, Catholic Relief Services - the US affiliate of Caritas - told a Senate panel in Washington.
15 Jul 2002

Caritas Australia responds to typhoon-ravaged Micronesians
Caritas Australia today committed $A17,889 emergency relief to assist the people of Chuuk, who are recovering from damage caused by strong winds, heavy rain and landslides in the wake of Typhoon Chataan earlier this month.
15 Jul 2002

Feature - Star puts heart into heartthrob
While Elvis vacated his throne 25 years ago, Engelbert Humperdinck is still packing them in - and praying for them. He is a cradle Catholic who believes firmly in the healing power of prayer. "I believe in healing, and I rely on my Faith. Healing comes from a higher power, but nobody is aware of what I'm doing as I focus on the audience and it's a way of giving something back."
12 Jul 2002

Opinion - What youth wants most
No one can dispute that we need young leaders, that most people over 35 are really over being interested in things that concerned the adolescent stage of their lives. Theology alone won't draw them. The experience of connection to Jesus and each other will. We need to remember that our God is a God of relationship, and the 'X' generation craves connection, but a connection that is real, that is true. - Juanita de Paiva, musical director, Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Fairfield, in Sydney
12 Jul 2002

Call for pastoral care for gypsies
Gypsies often consider the Church an institution for the majority in society, according to Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples undersecretary Fr Michael Blume.
12 Jul 2002

Work to start on new cathedral
A statue of Mary and the child Jesus carved more than 600 years ago will be the only work of art not commissioned from an Australian artist for the Catholic world's first cathedral built in the 21st century.
12 Jul 2002

Centacare's Children First - one of the world's 12 best programs
A Brisbane program designed to help children cope with the trauma of parental separation and divorce has been named one of the world's twelve best education and group intervention programs.
12 Jul 2002

Sex scandal hits Zimbabwe aid staff
The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) has dismissed two of its staff in Zimbabwe after investigating allegations that they requested sexual favours from refugees in return for scholarships and other refugee services.
12 Jul 2002

Terrorists reportedly planned Vatican attack
Terrorists with links to al-Qaida planned to blow up pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, at the heart of the Vatican, an Italian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
12 Jul 2002

Pope names new cardinal to powerful Milan diocese
Pope John Paul nominated a new cardinal yesterday to oversee the powerful Milan archdiocese, making him the leading Italian candidate to succeed the Pope.
12 Jul 2002

Feature - Insurance a worry for Catholic Church in US
In 1990, a number of US dioceses hit with a civil judgment of more than $A1.76 million turned to their insurance companies under the terms of their general liability policies. But the companies argued that officials knew or should have known that the accused priest would abuse again because he had a history of repeated abuse. The dioceses had to pay.
11 Jul 2002

Opinion - Decline of religious bigotry has reshaped Australia's political landscape
For much of the first 100 years of national life, political fault lines corresponded largely with religious affiliation, as Catholic social policies nestled snugly, if not always docilely, inside the Labor Party, and the Protestant ethic flourished in the citadels of non-Labor. Catholic influence in the Labor party has markedly lessened, but this may have had as much to do with the inexorable secularisation of society in general as with purely political factors. - Norman Abjorenson
11 Jul 2002

Five accused priests appealing dismissals
Five priests accused of child sex abuse have refused orders to leave their positions in the Archdiosese of Chicago in the US.
11 Jul 2002

Vatican protests exclusion from AIDS conference
The Holy See's top official working on health-care issues has protested against the exclusion of Vatican representatives from the 14th world conference on AIDS.
11 Jul 2002

Numbers down, spirits up for Toronto World Youth Day
Hundreds of thousands of Catholic teenagers and young adults will meet in Toronto for World Youth Day between 23 and 28 July, but the number is significantly lower than that expected, and that of previous World Youth Day crowds.
11 Jul 2002

Ratzinger issues ultimatum to 'ordained' women
The Vatican has issued a solemn warning to seven Catholic women who were recently 'ordained' as priests, telling them that if they do not appeal for pardon by 22 July, they will be formally excommunicated.
11 Jul 2002

Pope struggles through short speech
Pope John Paul II, looking feeble and having difficulty reading greetings to pilgrims, yesterday struggled through one of his shortest Wednesday general audiences, held for the first time in his papacy at his summer retreat in this hilltown outside of Rome.
11 Jul 2002

Liturgy debate heats up
Director of the Liturgical Commission in Brisbane Archdiocese Fr Tom Elich has hit out at Rome's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments over its bid to take back control of liturgical translations from bishops' conferences.
11 Jul 2002

Feature - Jason scores with 'no sex before marriage'
Rugby league international Jason Stevens felt some trepidation when he publicly declared he would abstain from sex until he was married. Stevens said it is easy to go down the "wrong path". That's what he did, he says, and, as a result, his relationships were without substance and love. So Stevens turned to God to help steer his life in the right direction.
10 Jul 2002

Opinion - In a world turned secular, only radical steps can keep church teachings afloat
The findings of the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) on why people don't go to church indicate that institutional Christianity is heading for extinction. In Religious Education in a Pluralist Society (Woburn Press, 1999), Peter Hobson and John Edwards propose an "open-ended exploration of world views or philosophies of life". This approach would "encourage the pupil's own search in a rational and well-informed way", and "is more likely to evoke a positive response from contemporary youth". Churches could then concentrate their time and effort on developing and nurturing that response. - Chris McGillion
10 Jul 2002

Italian police close down porn websites with Catholic themes
Italian authorities have blocked out five websites for blaspheming Catholicism with a combination of pornographic pictures and offensive statements about the Madonna.
10 Jul 2002

US diocesan leaders alarmed by parishes' lack of lay financial oversight
As a grand jury investigates the financial irregularities of one priest in the Diocese of Brooklyn and church officials try to recover $A3.19 million that was improperly spent by another, diocesan leaders acknowledge that as many as one out of five parishes lack the basic lay oversight of finances required by church law.
10 Jul 2002

Nuns convicted of genocide offences to appeal
Two Rwandan nuns, convicted in 2001 by a Belgian Crown Court of participating in the 1994 genocide, have lodged an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights.
10 Jul 2002

Uganda's rebels attack Catholic mission
Three teachers were abducted and a pupil killed in an attack by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) on Iceme girls' school in northern Uganda on Monday.
10 Jul 2002

No amnesty for crimes against humanity, says East Timorese bishop
Amnesty should not be offered to those responsible for crimes against humanity during the violence that surrounded East Timor's 1999 bid for independence, said Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo of Dili.
10 Jul 2002

Cardinal asserts Church's solidarity with AIDS patients
The Archbishop of Barcelona has told the International Conference on AIDS taking place in his city that one out of every four AIDS sufferers in the world is cared for by the Catholic Church.
10 Jul 2002

Feature - Sainthood awaits man some say didn't exist
The doubts of science and the demands of history mean little to the millions of Catholics who bring their most heartfelt pleas to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As they approach on their knees with pleas for help, some carrying newborns, their faith in the appearance of the Virgin Mary at this spot in 1531 is inseparable from the story of Juan Diego, the humble peasant she chose as her messenger.
9 Jul 2002

Opinion - Why are they vandalising our hymns?
Vandalism can be towards words as well as buildings and the worst vandals are those who, without any ecclesiastical authority, are vandalising our hymns both old and new. The opening verse of Faith of our Fathers has not yet been changed to Values of Everyone's Parents and Guardians but when it does, remember that this warning was served. - Eric Hester, editor of Mentor magazine
9 Jul 2002

1998 Swiss Guard case may be reopened
The Vatican said it might reopen the investigation into the 1998 Swiss Guard tragedy, but labelled the accusation of two French lawyers against it as unacceptable.
9 Jul 2002

Pope wants God's love reflected in attitudes to migrants
In a letter to the congregation's superior general on the occasion of their General Chapter being held in Rome this month, Pope John Paul II urged the Cabrini sisters to be an expression of God's love, especially emigrants.
9 Jul 2002

'Ordained' nun expelled from her order
An Austrian nun whose recent "ordination" with six other women sparked outrage, has been dismissed from her congregation.
9 Jul 2002

Philippine church sets guidelines on sex offences
The church in the Philippines is preparing guidelines to deal with cases of sexual abuse and other offences by some of its 7000 priests and brothers, church authorities said yesterday.
9 Jul 2002

Jesuit Refugee Service fears martial law in Aceh
The regional office of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Bangkok has reported that a number of its sources have sounded an alert about an impending state of military emergency - or martial law - in the northern Sumatran province of Aceh.
9 Jul 2002

PNG 'rascalism' worries Salesian head
The Superior of the Salesian Delegation in Papua New Guinea has urged prayers for the country during an election period plagued by 'rascalism' - bands of young people who have drifted into urban areas from the highlands and elsewhere and have resorted to criminal activity to survive.
9 Jul 2002

Opinion - Catholics challenged to be 'pro-life' at every turn
We all agree about the unacceptability of the sexual abuse of children. Yet it is inconsistent to address such brokenness and wrong-doing while ignoring other anti-child attitudes deeply embedded in a society which regards the destruction of a child by abortion as somehow 'acceptable'. Similarly, it is inconsistent to condemn the wrongdoing of abortion and yet do nothing to help women and men cope with the pressures of parenting. At every turn, to be 'pro-life' is to be concerned for the human person. - Teresa Pirola
8 Jul 2002

Feature - 'The whole truth is only found together'
"I have my faith not from encyclicals or pastoral letters, but from my mother and my father", says Cardinal Walter Kasper in his Vatican office. The 69-year-old president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has spent all of his priestly life seeking to reconcile the countless apparent contradictions in the Church's theology and practice. His bottom line is this: "No one has the whole truth; that is only found all together."
8 Jul 2002

Cardinal says Pope concerned about unification of Korea
Peaceful unification of South and North Korea is a special concern of the Pope, according to prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples of the Vatican Cardinal Cresecenzio Sepe.
8 Jul 2002

Pope warns against pursuit of pleasure
Pope John Paul II exhorted youth to follow a path of chastity, saying yesterday that human beings are "not fulfilled by following the impulses of pleasure".
8 Jul 2002

Vatican deficit linked to effects of 11 September
Last year's terrorist attacks on the United States had an impact on the Vatican's finances, resulting in its first operating deficit in eight years.
8 Jul 2002

Newspaper publishes statistics on complaints against clergy
Almost one in 10 Catholic priests and brothers have been accused of sexual and emotional abuse according to the Church's records.
8 Jul 2002

Howard meets with Pope at Vatican
John Howard met the Pope on Saturday in the first papal audience in Rome for an Australian Prime Minister since Bob Hawke's 1986 visit.
8 Jul 2002

Caritas issues alert on 13 million Africans facing starvation
The southern Africa region is facing a food crisis with more than 13 million people facing starvation in the coming months, according to a statement from Caritas Australia.
8 Jul 2002

Feature - How faith inspired a genius
Ludwig van Beethoven not only became a disabled composer, but was also the victim of child abuse. He is arguably the greatest composer of all time, and yet this status was attained by way of suffering, tragedy and of course the monumental gift given by his creator. He never wavered in his gratitude to the Almighty, and time and again he dedicated masterpieces to God.
5 Jul 2002

Opinion - Women 'not treated equal to men' in Church
Becoming a chaplain to the Catholic Women's League brought me into contact with strong, intelligent women who were questioning the role given them by a Church not specifically sexist or patriarchal, but a Church primarily male-dominated. Early in my association I ventured to say that I really knew how the women present must be feeling about their position in the Church, to be firmly told that that would be an impossibility on my part as I had not suffered enough! - Mgr Vince Redden, chaplain Catholic Women's League (Archdiocese of Sydney)
5 Jul 2002

Prayer candles destroy Romanian monastery
A Romanian monastery has burned down in a fire started by prayer candles which were lit by a dying abbot.
5 Jul 2002

First non-white joins Vatican guard
The Vatican has sworn in the first non-white member of the Swiss Guard, the elite corps of soldiers who protect the Pope.
5 Jul 2002

Brother suspended over sex claims
Br Rodger Moloney has been stood down from St John of God's provincial council in Sydney, the Australasian head of the Catholic order, Brother Peter Burke, confirmed yesterday, pending the outcome of a police investigation into the troubled order in New Zealand.
5 Jul 2002

Howard set to meet Pope
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said he was looking forward to meeting Pope John Paul II this weekend as part of a two-week visit to Europe.
5 Jul 2002

Vatican links access to communications technology to fairer globalisation
Free access to the new communications technology will be decisive for a fairer process of globalisation, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva.
5 Jul 2002

Pope proposes 1963 encyclical as response to terrorism
Pope John Paul II has turned to a 1963 encyclical - Pacem in Terris, written by Pope John XXIII - for inspiration for the theme of the next World Day of Peace.
5 Jul 2002

Feature - People often look for God in wrong places
People on drugs or whatever, they're looking for self-fulfilment, they're looking for God. All of these people who have joined one or other of the religions are looking for God, they're looking for truth. So the search is there; the hunger, the yearning. And I think a number of those people who have strayed and have dabbled in other things, will and do find their way back again. - Cardinal Edward Clancy, retired Archbishop of Sydney, author of Come Back! The Church Loves You
4 Jul 2002

Opinion - How long before Alex is ready for the Eucharist?
Alex is severely autistic. His mother made an altar in the den of their townhouse, and every night she plays a preschool music tape of Bible songs. Alex can point to a plastic figure of Jesus and put the rosary over his mother's head. Will he ever be able to distinguish the body of Christ from bread (which is the criterion for reception of Holy Communion)? That depends on whether or not you believe in miracles.
4 Jul 2002

UK dioceses, parishes told not to import priests from mission countries
British Dioceses and parishes which think of 'importing' priests from Third World countries to solve the priest shortage problem have been told instead to look within their own country.
4 Jul 2002

Survey finds campus ministry boosts Catholics' faith lives later
Participation in campus ministry programs increases the likelihood that students will consider a vocation to the priesthood, and plays a significant role in other aspects of Catholics' faith lives after college, according to a new study from the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
4 Jul 2002

Moscow Archbishop disappointed by Putin silence
Russian President Vladimir Putin's silence in the face of the Pope's plea over an expelled bishop is disappointing, says the Catholic archbishop in Moscow.
4 Jul 2002

ACU supports uni reform proposals
Australian Catholic University's vice-chancellor is backing changes to tertiary education which could result in higher student fees, but students say fees are already high enough.
4 Jul 2002

Vatican receives US church's policy on dealing with sexually abusive priests
The Vatican acknowledged on Tuesday it has received details of a policy approved by American bishops in Dallas last month but gave no indication how long it would take to examine the plan, which would bar sexually abusive priests from church work.
4 Jul 2002

Vatican welcomes International Criminal Court
As the new international tribunal formally opened, Archbishop Renato Martino-- the permanent observer for the Holy See at the United Nations-- issued a statement expressing the Vatican's satisfaction with the development.
4 Jul 2002

Feature - Something much bigger
Since 1983, Frank Carroll has been the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, and more recently chairman of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Born in 1930, he grew up on the family farm at Ganmain (NSW). "We were an ordinary family, Catholicism was part of the weave and fabric of our lives, when dad said 'rosary' that was it, We all went straight on our knees."
3 Jul 2002

Opinion - Let's blame the media
You can't go wrong blaming the media. The American media have blackmailed the bishops into depriving priests of their rights, says Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyas. According to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiagra, the American media are persecuting the Catholic Church. In fact, if the Boston Globe had not told the story of the church's horrific failures in Boston, the abuse would have gone right on. - Fr Andrew Greeley
3 Jul 2002

Boredom keeps us away from Church
Boredom is the main reason fewer Australians are going to church, according to the Australian Communities Survey, which found that although about two-thirds of Australians call themselves Christian, just 20% attend church services at least once a month.
3 Jul 2002

Sydney council bans family's shrine to dead son
A Sydney council has ordered a couple to demolish a shrine that was built to commemorate their dead son and is a focal point for the local Catholic community.
3 Jul 2002

Archbishop 'a virtual prisoner of Vatican'
The Zambian faith-healing archbishop who embarrassed the Church last year by marrying a Moonie is being held a virtual prisoner of the Vatican and denied contact with his family, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo's sister claimed yesterday.
3 Jul 2002

Melbourne Catholic official speaks out against lifting of witch ban
Melbourne Archdiocesan episcopal vicar for religious education Monsignor Peter J. Elliot has criticised the proposed decriminalisation of witchcraft.
3 Jul 2002

Sr Helen Prejean takes up case of sacked Irish soldier
The American nun who has fought for the rights of inmates on Death Row for many years, has lent her support to a campaign to clear the name of a former Irish army lieutenant dismissed from the force summarily 34 years ago without explanation.
3 Jul 2002

Church guidelines for priestly behaviour under review
The Church is currently reviewing Integrity in Ministry, the document that sets out the principles and standards for Catholic clergy and religious in Australia.
3 Jul 2002

Feature - The former psychiatrist who explains the Vatican
"These cardinals," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls with mock chagrin as he swept a visitor into his office just off St Peter's Square. "They come by without any appointment. You cannot say no. So it's, 'Yes, your eminence, just have a seat.'" 19 years into his career as papal spokesman, Navarro, now 65, still has occasional headaches with the centuries-old papal bureaucracy.
2 Jul 2002

Opinion - Church defending abuse lawsuits amounts to cover-up
Isn't legal resistance—and sometimes vigorous resistance—simply a perpetuation of the pattern of cover-ups that helped create the problem? Has not the church, by choosing to litigate many of the claims against it, reduced itself to the level of those corporate malefactors who use their deep pockets to finance relentless legal defences against the victims of their environmental crimes, defective products, or financial fraud? - Mark A. Sargent, dean of the Villanova University School of Law
2 Jul 2002

Survey finds those who donate to churches give more to all charities
A survey in the United States found that people who financially support the religious life of churches and comparable bodies of non-Christian religions also give more to charities than others.
2 Jul 2002

Church insured for abuse claims
The Catholic Church insured itself for up to $5 million against compensation payouts to victims of sexual abuse years before it devised policies for dealing with allegations of abuse by the clergy.
2 Jul 2002

Church in Ireland launches sex abuse enquiry
The Irish Catholic Church has appointed a retired judge to oversee an investigation of its record in handling sex-abuse allegations but said many internal disciplinary records already had been destroyed.
2 Jul 2002

Queensland Catholic schools need more male teachers
Catholic schools across Queensland are launching a recruitment drive for male teachers, following the release of figures showing female teachers outnumber their male counterparts by more than three to one.
2 Jul 2002

Jesuits see G8 summit as lost opportunity for refugees
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has said that steps vital for the future of Africa which could have helped resolve the refugee crisis in many countries did not get approval at the G8 summit.
2 Jul 2002

Pope quashes resignation rumours
The Pope has used a front-page article in an Italian newspaper to deny rumours that his deteriorating health may force him to resign.
2 Jul 2002

Melbourne Jesuit expels corporate greed demon
Fr Peter Norden on Friday cast out the demon of corporate greed of Citipower, a division of a multinational electricity company operating in Victoria.
1 Jul 2002

Priest killed in Colombia
A Catholic priest who was critical of leftist rebels was gunned down in front of a church where he had just performed mass, becoming the latest religious leader killed in Colombia's escalating civil war.
1 Jul 2002

Adelaide Archbishop receives pallium from Pope
Pope John Paul II was alert and had a strong grip, Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson reported yesterday after receiving his pallium from the Pope at the Vatican.
1 Jul 2002

Feature - Teaching teachers in a land of optimism
New arrivals teacher Frances O'Keeffe had been thinking about making "some sort of a change" when she saw a flyer last year inviting teachers to apply for a one term secondment to a teaching mission in East Timor. So the 56-year-old grandmother spent the first teaching term of this year working in East Timor's fledgling Catholic Teachers' College. Her contribution was part of the college's English language program; one of a series of ongoing courses it provides for local teachers.
1 Jul 2002

Opinion - The Catholic laity's time has come
"Nowadays, this image of the priest as the generous knight of the people has been replaced by that of a man who preys on children." Tom Keneally's words appear to ride on a cresting wave, a great sea change in the oldest and by far the largest branch of Christianity. Professor Mary Ann Glendon, professor of law at Harvard University, who also happens to be an adviser to the Pope, agreed a great sea change was under way: "It's a great thing. Not since the first century AD has there been such a time for the laity. And the Pope has been cheering it on." - Paul Sheehan
1 Jul 2002

Vatican clamps down on smokers
The Holy See is set to impose a smoking ban in offices in the Vatican, from today, in a ruling that applies to everyone from cardinals to cleaners, and comes on top of an existing ban on smoking in public places.
1 Jul 2002

Philippine Church says only singles should work abroad
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has said only single Filipinos should work abroad, and married couples should stay and work in the Philippines for the solidarity of their families.
1 Jul 2002

Catholic women in unofficial ordination
Nine women were 'ordained' as Catholic priests in a secret ceremony in Austria on Saturday which could lead to their excommunication from the church.
1 Jul 2002